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Why you ate too much peanut butter…

Wondering how it’s possible a health-conscious woman like you can “go unconscious” eating spoonfuls of nut butter in one sitting? It can be easy to get distracted by old story-lines and feelings about unwanted eating habits: “What’s wrong with me?” “I’m gross.” “How do I fix this?” DO NOT live here. As I always say, in a variety of ways, how we eat is not due to some inherent personal flaw. Cravings and eating habits just act as mirrors, helping us see something that needs tending to or something that’s on the periphery of our consciousness. If an “innocent” peanut butter craving turned into a peanut butter eating trance, allow me to offer some perfectly good reasons this may have happened… Fat deficiency Sometimes our cravings are our bodies’ smart solution. Our food needs vary, but in general generous amounts of dietary fat in the diet help balance the cold, dry quality of the winter months and also heat up the metabolic fire. Those who are still looking to the dietary trends of the 90’s for support may be under-eating fat out of residual fear that it will cause weight gain. Inadequate dietary fat may lead to strong cravings. You’re hungry (it’s natural!) Energy rich foods, like peanut butter, can remedy caloric deficiency. If you find yourself going for peanut butter in the afternoon or evening, and a tablespoon or two won’t ever seem to do, you might simply be hungry. If you don’t love what’s happening there, you can always examine in what ways you might be under-eating prior to your cravings. What do you notice? First chakra food When the first chakra is imbalanced, according to popular author, healer, and therapist Anodea Judith, we can often seek out outside stimulus to calm our nervous systems or ground us down. Animal protein, root vegetables, and peanut butter fall into the category of foods linked to this chakra (fleshy, grounded, of-the-earth). If you are unable to fully inhabit your body, and are working to re-wire any past feeling of insecurity, ungroundedness, or feeling unsafe in your life, you may be using peanut butter as a quirky sort of medicine. You are eating any amount or at a time you feel you shouldn’t (i.e. Perfectionism) When the inner perfectionist is taking the lead there is no tolerance for human eating quirks. If your inner perfectionist has rules like: “No eating between meals,” or “No more than one TBS of peanut butter,” or “Your appetite should look like this,” and then of the craving causes I mentioned above make their way in, the inner perfectionist cannot tolerate this. It does not want to accept it’s own humanness. And because the tolerance of being just a regular human feels intolerable to the perfectionist, the eater may fall into a curious situation: simultaneously try to comfort oneself from the pain of having ‘messed up’ by eating more peanut butter AND eating more peanut butter to punish oneself with a belly ache or the emotional shame of having eaten a good deal of the crunchy or smooth stuff. Anxiety/Uncertainty As we enter 2017, and are squarely present with the some of the uncertainties regarding the future of our country, or even the uncertainties of the trajectories of our own lives, our families, loved ones, and existential anxieties contemplating life, death, and the like, it can make TOTAL sense, that reaching for certain foods in larger degrees makes sense. Eating in general in grounding. Eating more than usual can be an instinctual response to ground and temper anxiety. Even in these 5 examples, do you see the broad spectrum of very smart reasons a lovely lady like yourself might find herself in the jar of peanut butter? Remember, eating habits act as mirrors. In my counseling practice, I track the very specific influences on a client’s eating habits. From there I hold the longer vision of possibility of what’s to be born of this challenge, and how to fortify ourselves to meet life as it is right now in this moment… Now it’s your turn: After reading my reflections, what are your own insights as to why you might be craving nut butters by the spoonful? With Love, Laura

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